Plane is an action movie with Gerard Butler as the action hero. And Butler does what he does well. He plays Brodie Torrance, the pilot of the plane. The film sets him and the situation up with a convincing pre-flight sequence introducing Torrance, his co-pilot Samuel Dele (Yoson An), the flight crew and the passengers, the most interesting of which is Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), a man accused of murder, who is being transported with his FBI escort.
Torrance and Dele go through the pre-flight checks, establish a good working relationship and then the plane takes off. But things do not go smoothly. Early on in the flight they encounter a fierce storm, so fierce that Torrance is forced to make a crash landing on what he works out is a remote island somewhere near the Philippines.
At first the survivors think it is deserted. But soon they realise that the island is a hideout and HQ for a group of pirates – and that’s when the action really takes off.
Predictably Torrance proves to be not only an ace pilot but a man of action. The FBI man has been killed in the crash and Torrance takes the precaution of pocketing his gun. A wise decision as it turns out, once the terrorists make themselves known. But he can’t fight them alone and his natural ally is of course the FBI’s former prisoner Gaspare, whom he sets free to accompany him into the jungle.
The film is more than a bit thin on characterisation. Gaspare is defined almost entirely through his fighting skills – we learn little else about him, except he was once in the French Foreign Legion. We get a bit of background on Torrance himself – he has an adult daughter, whom we cut to looking worried from time to time – and the team in the control room back at base trying to track where the plane has crashed appear to respect him. We learn little however about the other passengers (there are only 14 of them to start with) or indeed the crew, though An makes an impression as the co-pilot, as does Daniella Pineda as the chief stewardess.
But hey, this is an action movie, the audience are here for the ride. So fasten your seat belts, action fans. It’s a reasonably satisfying bumpy one.
This is Your Captain (11 mins)-
Plane Clothes (8 mins)-
Brace for Turbulence (18 mins)
Certification: 15Run time: 107 mins
Lionsgate UK presents Plane on digital 17 April and 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD 24 April